UK Newswire Archive
25-11-2010 11:22SAVE THE FOREST CAMPAIGN!
We need your support!!
Get down to the protest on December the 10th in Cinderford when forest MP Mark Harper will be there, the minister who is pushing for the selloff of the forest!!
Meeting point 12 mid-day
53 High Street,
Forest Of Dean,
A good place to get rid of your rotten fruit!!!!
This is not an exhaustive report. There were so many of us and everyone has their story to tell (why don't you tell your story?). So basically, they want to take away the right to education, and we won't let them. It was brilliant seeing all those people turn out, 13, 14 year old school kids amongst them. We started off at ULU. Everyone's really angry. How do those who got an education get to mess it up for us and decide that we can't have one? We can't even vote, though what good is that if they just lie to you anyway? Just like what on BBC and Sky. You'd think they went to a whole different event. But great spirits, lots of energy. We pass a bunch of unis and the march keeps getting bigger. At Trafalgar Square, suddenly it's not 50 people anymore it's 5000! Read what happened next...
We're passing Trafalgar Square and head down Whitehall. And suddenly the march is stopped and we can't go anywhere. And Whitehall, there's no sidestreets. They didn't ask us to disperse, but even if they would have, we couldn't. There's no sidestreets. So they set up a "kettle", cops and vans and horses at either end. And we're stuck. First it's still fun, everyone is in great spirits, it's like a big party. You meet people, everyone's having a laugh. People are pretty angry and take apart a lot of stuff. Busstops, even bruning ticket machines. They explode in a weird way. I don't even know how you can set something like that on fire. There's this police van left behind in the middle of the crowd, so that's totally taken appart. I hear some people got arrested for theft later, after they found some police equipment on them. Really those people might just have picked it up from the streets.
But it really wears down after a while. It's getting really cold, you can't move about much. There's no food, no drinks. No loos. Some people took a piss right in front of police lines, others set up improvised loos in phone booths and with banners. There's fires being started all over the place, usind placards, newspapers, everything. Those plastic barricades, and man those stink. A few times people try and get out. Pushing through the lines. And police is totally vicious. People are so tightly packed in that there's nowhere to go, but the cops just lash out and hit anything that moves.I hear some people broke out and went up to Trafalgar, would be great to hear something about that.
There's also cops with big cameras and small ones that you hardly notice. Some coppers had ones on their hats, filming everything, but you didn't really see them at first. There's a campaign to stop them and after the Millbank thing, they had their website taken down.After Millbank they started arresting people later on. There's some advice on the net for going to protests. Seems like it's a whole science of it's on, if you don't want to get hassled for it.
So basically if you want to take part in a protest in this "democracy", they should give you a warning before: "Prepare to be clubbed on the head and held in an outdoors prison for hours on end. You gotta bring enough warm cloths to not get cold, also food and water. Because if we catch you in one of out cattle pens, we're not going to feed you or anything. You better don't have a bladder either, because we're not gonna let you go to the loo. Oh, and you may get arrested for being in the wrong spot at the wrong place. And we're going to take pictures and video you, so we can find out who you are later on. But yeah, you're totally free to protest. As long as you don't mind all of the above."
So everyone, what are we going to do next time? We can't let them get away with this kinda behaviour! Maybe that's why they don't want us to get an education. Because we might learn about what democracy means. And speak up about the bullshit that's currently happening in this country. With the banks being bailed out, and corportations getting huge tax breaks, the rich ones get huge bonuses and whatnot and everyone else gets fucked. We need something better! Some real democracy, and some way to organise society so everyone can have a good life, good education, a decent job and most of all everyone can have a say!
25-11-2010 11:05In the face of extreamly repressive university policy this occupation has ended to re-group and plan further action.
25-11-2010 10:53Western countries are always very quick to champion democracy as one of the proud achievements of modern civilisation, giving people power to choose whom they want to run the country.
25-11-2010 10:07Demonstration Tuesday 30th of November, 5 - 7pm at the Treasury, Parliament Street, London (nearest tube Westminster).
25-11-2010 09:52New Israeli Settlement in Jabel Mukaber - Police and Settlers take over Kara'in house 23/11/10
Israeli police officers evicted the Kara'in family, who had disputed the sale of their property by a now-dead relative, and Settlers moved in on the same day.
Web Link to Video
November 24 2010, national day of action and student walkout
It was big, it was loud, and it was anarchic in the best possible way. Manchester students made themselves heard and seen all round the city centre on Wednesday when around 3,000 of them went on the march.
25-11-2010 08:45Students with support of the local UCU branch have occupied the university's Learning Resource Centre
police force children out of mcdonalds and force them down whitehall into kettle where they are then held for hours. they can't explain what law they are using.
as night fell, police used mounted police to charge crowds containing children and peaceful protestors. more arbitrary cordons led to scuffles, and a few by now very angry protestors stopped some traffic and broke a couple of windows. those kettled were gradually let out, some having spent ten hours imprisoned.
with thousands kettled and the night drawing in, protestors lit fires to stay warm. some took their frustration out on police lines, but interestingly, many of the students stopped others from committing acts of violence. i saw one group pushing back an attempt to use some fencing as a battering ram, and the angrier demonstrators were disarmed.
once again, new people arrived outside the kettle, and police brought in even more massive reinforcements to begin an operation to clear whitehall by pushing people up the road away from the kettles.
the kettles themselves still contained thousands of people, and as the cold set in, more fires were started. many of those held had been there for more than eight hours by now, and there were a few concerted attempts to break through police lines and at one point about a hundred made a successful breach and got away.
the operation to clear whitehall became quite violent as lines of riot police pushed forward, knocking people off walls, occasionally using batons, and pushing anyone infront of them, including press. the police lines were aided by a dozen mounted police, who on occasion charged their horses directly into the crowd. as people scattered in panic, it was pure luck that no-one appeared to be trampled or otherwise injured.
as the crowd neared trafagar square it was clear yet another line of police were coming the other way, and to avoid yet another kettle, some charged through, and others also escaped down great scotland yard.
once free in trafalgar square, some went on the rampage, pulling bins and other debris across the road, and unaccountably smashing a couple of bus windows on their way.
one group of about 50 people was surrounded in duncannon street near the strand, and one photographer was pushed over by a bullying transport police inspector. as people surrounded this cordon, tension rose, and more riot police arrived and pushed people away from the cordon. there were a couple of attempts at a sit-down protest on the strand, but police waded in, drew batons, and very forcibly cleared the road.
back at parliament square, by 9pm police had pushed the original kettle further up the road, and on the far side were letting people out in small numbers at a time, sometimes, though not always, taking details as people left.
press were not allowed past police lines, and police were anxious to clear loiterers out of whitehall.
overall, there were several key moments to the day.
first, police stopped a march that had been publicised as going to parliament square, then kettled thousands of people, some of whom were not part of the protest, and most of whom were peaceful.
next, police started pushing into the crowd, provoking a response, and then there was the mysterious single abandoned police van.
then, the sinister and arbitrary sweep for young people in the area, some of whom were clearly not involved, but who were then detained for hours.
finally, dangerous use of mounted police charging into crowds that contained children.
after G20, for an all too short while, police attitudes to protest improved, at least in front of cameras, but after the equally orchestrated events at millbank recently, the police have found an excuse to behave dangerously, provocatively, and repressively.
however, there were two very positive things that emerged from the day. first, the students demonstrated all over the country and are clearly not going to back down over the cuts despite this repression. second, the public and passers-by showed tremendous support for the students, see it as part of a much wider struggle against a further deep attack by the rich against the poor, and showed genuine horror and disgust at the police repression of wholly legitimate protests against an illegitimate government out of control.
police trawled through trafalgar square and whitehall rounding up any youngsters, including children (many of whom showed no signs of being part of the protest), and forcing them into a kettle where they were then imprisoned for hours.
at around 3pm, i spotted a line of around 80 police standing in front of the national gallery at the top of trafalgar square.
this was odd because in the square there were very few people and only half a dozen students with a banner.
suddenly the police line swept down picking up anyone who looked like they might be a student, or indeed a school child.
pushing them down to the top of whitehall, police forced the youngsters down the road, and once in whitehall it was then even easier for so many police to completely seal the road.
they stopped outside mcdonalds and went in, again zeroing in on anyone that looked "young", hauling them out and telling them to walk down whitehall towards the kettled crowd.
many argued, saying they wanted to get to the train station or to get home. many of them were under 18. many asked why they were being told to leave mcdonalds and move towards the obvious trouble, but police just told them to move.
many passers-by were appalled and shouting at the police about their actions.
i asked police what law they were using, and they said they didn't know. i asked if they were targetting people that looked like students and they said 'that's right'.
some of the children were clearly confused and terrified by this police operation, and most were not actively protesting when targetted - indeed some were clearly just in the vicinity with no connection to the day's demonstrations.
see attached short vid clip above.
still, the kids were pushed all the way down towards downing street, and the police lines were also joined and reinforced by mounted.
around the area of downing street, there was quite a large crowd outside the earlier main police kettle (they had clearly arrived later and were hoping to join the publicised march to parliament square). when they saw the youngsters coming towards them with lines of police and horses behind, they panicked and tried to run through the gardens of the ministry of defence and over spiked fencing. a couple fell and i saw one painful injury.
police soon secured the escape route, and then kept pushing the new kettle towards the original one past the cenotaph.
as this kettle moved tighter, some officers tried to trash the tent that provides shelter for the ongoing 'white flag revolution' protest against the afghan war. luckily there was an intervention by some MoD police who knew about this protest, and the tent remained.
a couple of people trying to escape the kettle were arrested.
all those that were already in whitehall, together with the students, youngsters, children and passers-by trawled by police, were then held for several hours into darkness.
25-11-2010 02:09In the global war between rich and poor we need: Reel News – 90 minutes of activist video.
Featuring inspiring community organisation and struggles from North America plus the fightback against the Westminster Government’s plans for schools in England and the historic joint strike by transport unions against cuts in London.
25-11-2010 01:41The group occupying the Radcliffe Camera in Oxford has had a massive morale boost with an extra bunch of people pushing past security to join us.
thousands of protestors were held for up to ten hours against their will for daring to protest on the streets of london. a police van left in the centre of a kettle became the focus of ire, and offered the press their iconic riot images. the question must be asked whether this was orchestrated.
as students gathered in malet st this morning, the mood was carnivalesque but defiant.
as the march set off around 11.30, it was completely surrounded by police.
meanwhile a group of school students were marching/running along millbank and through parliament square. police were finding it hard to keep up, but about a dozen vans chased through the traffic after them as they made their way up whitehall to meet the carnival at trafalgar square.
in trafalgar square, the students had taken over the base of nelson's statue, watched and documented by several FIT teams back in their blue tabards for the day.
the publicised itinery for the protests involved a rally in the square and then a march down to parliament square, followed by a further rally outside downing street at 5pm.
however, the students were impatient and decided to head down to parliament square immediately.
as they made their way swiftly down whitehall, little did they know that the police were not going to facilitate the peaceful demonstration advertised as marching to parliament square.
at the bottom of whitehall, just as it reaches parliament square, police set up a solid block and anyone that in their eyes looked vaguely like a student was simply not allowed through.
meanwhile, behind the crowd, more police were forming a kettle, and mysteriously, a solitary police van was left unwatched right in the middle of this kettle.
at the parliament square end, although the crowd was generally peaceful, their anger grew at not being allowed to pass. a few made an attempt to dismantle some work fences that formed part of the trap, and at that point riot police began pushing forward into the crowd, causing reactions and scuffles.
i witnessed the shocking sight of a police medic putting his arm through the officers in front of him and spraying a BCF halon fire extinguisher at the faces of some caught at the front of the crowd.
as the crowd realised they were being held against their will, more scuffles broke out, and the sole abandoned police van became the object of anger and was graffitied, broken into and will of course become one of the iconic news images of the day.
25-11-2010 01:22The video shows the failure of police to display their numbers, something which is extremely important in making sure police are accountable for misconduct.
The video is here: http://vimeo.com/17174532
The video was filmed at the anti-cuts demo on the 24/11/2010
Here are points 8 and 9 of the Home Affairs Committee reccomendation in response to the policing of the G20 protests, along with the governments response which was published on the 27/01/2010:
(The full publication is here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmsel...1.pdf)
We echo Sir Paul Stephenson’s comments: in many ways the problem for the police in these situations is not their actual actions, but the perception that they are seeking to avoid accountability for these actions. We are therefore surprised that the problems of identification posed when officers change into protective equipment have not been addressed before and recommend more funding specifically for solutions in this area. (Paragraph 22)
Senior officers must take personal responsibility for ensuring that all officers are displaying their identification numbers and the individual officer must be provided with enough numbers so that these can be worn at all times and on all equipment. It would be helpful if the Home Office and Metropolitan Police would let us know the length of time it takes between the ordering of a new identification badge and this badge being delivered to the individual officer. It is unacceptable for officers not to wear identification numbers at such events; this must be a matter of the highest priority. We urge that any officers found to be deliberately removing their identification face the strongest possible disciplinary measures and the police must make every effort to be identifiable at all times. (Paragraph 23)
The Government strongly endorses the conclusions of all the reviews into policing of protest that uniformed police officers should be identifiable at all times by their shoulder identification numbers. The public has a right to be able to identify any uniformed officer who is performing their duty. As the Home Affairs Committee Report recognises this is wholly endorsed by the MPS and by ACPO.
Display of numerals is one of the areas that the Policing White Paper flags as requiring particular attention in revised training and guidance. ACPO has already issued interim guidance reinforcing the importance of the identification of officers, and the MPS has included specific reference in all briefing for the need for officers to display numerals.
Most officers have metal numerals, which are issued without delay—but may come unattached following heavy contact. Specialist public order officers have embroidered numerals, which take between four and six weeks to order. However, metal numerals are used during the interim period. MPS officers are issued with two pairs of both.